Taylor Woodrow unearths a Roman chariot arena in Colchester under a new housing development.

Evidence of the original Essex boy racers has been unearthed at a new housing estate in Colchester. An archaeological dig under the Taylor Woodrow’s Abbeyfield development has uncovered remains suggesting the presence of a Roman chariot racing arena or Roman circus.

The Roman equivalents of the souped up Nova would have raced in front of an elongated oval circus arena 350m long and 70m wide. Double walls, 5m apart, would have retained the banks of tiered seating.

Chariot racing was the Roman Formula One of its day minus the safety precautions. Flimsy chariots pulled by four horses would have careered around the circus at death-defying speeds and any fallers risked would have risked been trampled underfoot by rival teams.